Barrington School Committee chairman hopes to keep leading



Patrick “Buzz” Guida, a Republican and longtime member of the Barrington School Committee, sat in front of the television set inside the American Legion building on Tuesday night.

He split time watching the Fox News national telecast of the presidential race, talking to others who had gathered at the Legion hall, and scanning the large board of local election results taped to the wall.

By about 9 p.m., the vote tallies on the board clearly indicated a shift in power for the Barrington School Committee.

Republican incumbent Chris Ramsden, who won his seat on the board during a special election in Jan. 2011, was out. His wife, Meg Ramsden, who is also a Republican, fell short in her bid for a school committee seat.

Meanwhile, voters elected two Democrats, Bob Shea (an incumbent) and Paula Dominguez, and one Republican, Mr. Guida. Those three will join Democrat Kate Brody and Republican Scott Fuller on the committee, creating a Democratic majority and potentially challenging the current positions of leadership on the board — Mr. Guida has been chairman for more than a year.

“I feel like I continue to be highly qualified to serve in the leadership of the school committee,” Mr. Guida said when asked if he wanted to maintain his chairmanship. “Traditionally, the party with the majority usually selects the leadership.”

Mr. Guida said that two years ago, the Republicans changed that trend by extending the vice chairman position to Mr. Shea even though Mr. Ramsden had been elected and placed the Republicans in the majority.

New school committee members will be sworn in on the first Monday of December; the committee will likely hold an organizational meeting, which includes the naming of officers, on Dec. 6.


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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.